B.C.A. A.G.M. Congress 2010

Derby, 5-7 March 2010

Click here to download the games from the top board of the A.g.M. 2010.


By Mark Hague

The 2010 B.C.A. A.G.M. and congress took place at the now very familiar Derby Hallmark Hotel, formerly known as the Midlands Hotel, from the 5th to 7th March. The event was very well attended with 14 players in the open event and 12 in the minor section. On the Saturday night, the peak night for room bookings, we had a total of 41 of our members staying at the hotel. We had a couple of newcomers to welcome at the event, young Michael Lowery from Newcastle and veteran chess player and Uncle to Mark Kirkham Lewis Jones. Both of these players benefited from schemes designed to encourage B.C.A. membership by giving free tournament places to the under 25’s and free or reduced cost of a place for a newcomer’s first B.C.A. tournament.


Chris Ross holding the 2010 A.G.M. trophy 


As tournament organisers, Lea and I would like to thank Stan Lovell and the members of the tournament sub-committee for all their assistance, and also Gill Smith for her assistance with the bookings and financial side of the tournament. I would also like to thank Gerry Walsh and Julie Leonard for their faultless organisation of the chess tournament and Sheila Milsom for organising the raffle. I must also thank all our sighted B.C.A. members whose kind help and assistance to visually impaired members made the whole weekend flow smoothly. Also a big thank you must be extended to Derby Lions who supplied 6 magnificent trophies for the open and minor tournaments, one of which I am now a proud owner! They also generously supplemented the prize fund which ensured there were many good prizes to be won, by a high proportion of the chess players.


I’d like to say the weekend went without a hitch but regrettably the hotel, now under new management, appears to be doing its level best to lose its 4-star rating. After the weekend it became apparent that many had suffered long delays while being served their evening meals and as a consequence some had to miss their last course to be in time for the evening chess round. There were also complaints about the lack of staff available to help at breakfast times and the quality of the food on the Friday and Sunday evenings. These complaints are now being addressed by the committee and it is hoped the hotel will be able to guarantee better quality and service before being booked for subsequent events. It would be a great shame to lose this conveniently located venue as it has served us so well in the past, especially as Dawn, their events organiser, is one of the best facilitators I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Hopefully expert organisers like Stan can apply pressure on the hotel management to rectify these complaints.

George Phillips holding the trophy

As for the chess, I myself had a terrifically exciting chess tournament in the minor competition. At the end of round 4 I had 3.5 points, George Phillips had 4 and Phil smith and Gary Wickett were both on 2.5. Going into my last game with George I knew if I beat him I would take first place, 2nd if I drew and probably 3rd place if I lost, so you can imagine my nerves were all a jangle at the thought that at last I might win the minor, a goal I’ve had ever since I started playing in the tournaments. Alas I’m afraid it wasn’t going to be my hay day as George, playing black succeeded in outwitting me by playing the relatively rare Albin counter gambit which went 1 d4 d5, 2 c4 e5. Tragically, for my 3rd move I played C takes ?D instead of the essential move D takes E and consequently by move 7 I’d lost material and from then onwards my game went rapidly downhill, as did my aspirations for the tournament. However as it turned out I had previously won games against Geoff Patching and Richard Harrington who both finished with good points which resulted in me managing to pip Phil in the tie break to take 2nd place, my best ever placing.


The open was won by Chris Ross with a clean sweep. On the tie break. Tristram Cole came 2nd, Steve Hilton third and Bill Armstrong 4th all finishing with 3.5 points. Other players who had good tournaments were David Hodgkins, Roger Waters, Geoff Patching and Lewis Jones who all won grading prizes in their respective groups.


Lea and I both enjoyed organising the tournament and it was made so much easier by the many people who assisted us with the task. It was a great relief for me having Lea to do the speeches, as I dislike this task and luckily for me she has a real flare for this duty. Lea comes across naturally and has the ability to find the right words to suit the occasion, a real gift in my opinion. In the run up to the tournament it was relatively easy to collate people’s room requirements and work out chess groupings by plugging all the data into an Excel spreadsheet for reference. The task of organising a tournament is not too arduous, so if you fancy a try at organising an event, or would just like to be the lead for a single tournament then please contact the B.C.A. committee as they are looking for possible organisers for the British and Steve Eastwick-Field Memorial tournaments.


B.C.A. A.G.M. Tournament 2010 - Final Standings and Prizes


Ross 5,

Cole, Hilton and Armstrong 3.5,

Hodgkins 3 (grading prize A),

Waters (Grading Prize B),

Stan Lovell, Les Whittle, John Gallagher 2.5,

Sobers and S. Brown(shared Grading Prize C) 2,

Richard Murphy 1.5,

Blencowe 1,

Kirkham 0.5.


Phillips 5,

Hague and Smith 3.5,

Paching (Grading Prize A),

Lewis Jones (Grading Prize B),

Voldi Gailans 3,

Wickett 2.5,

D. Gibbs, Osborne, Harrington 2,

Hodges 1,

Lowery 0.5.

Photos were taken by Julie Leonard














B.C.A. 2002 - 2010